Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden... A Review

Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden

From the Publisher... When a young prostitute comes to Bigelow, Arkansas, to start over, far from her haunting past. Sugar moves next door to Pearl, who is still grieving for the daughter who was murdered fifteen years before. Over sweet-potato pie, an unlikely friendship begins, transforming both women's lives--and the life of an entire town...

Sugar brings a Southern African-American town vividly to life, with its flowering magnolia trees, lingering scents of jasmine and honeysuckle, and white picket fences that keep strangers out--but ignorance and superstition in. To read this novel is to take a journey through loss and suffering to a place of forgiveness, understanding, and grace.

I didn't know what to expect from Sugar as I read the opening scene of a horrendous murder of a young black girl named Jude and the devastated mother she left behind named Pearl. The year was 1940, the place was a southern black town, and it was the era of segregation...

"No one cared except the people who carried the same skin color"

Bernice McFadden made me feel the anguish of a mother who lost her child; the injustice of the times as it was known nothing was going to be done about it... And then she whisked me ahead 15 years. Pearl is still mourning the loss of her daughter, Jude, in her quiet reserved manner... But there's a new girl in town, and her name is Sugar - a young prostitute looking to change her life. Sugar exudes sex, with her short short skirts, spiky high heels, and BIG attitude. Pearl is a quiet obedient church-going wife. Their unlikely friendship creates amazing changes in both of them... much to the dismay of Pearl's church going friends, but to the delight of Pearls family.

Bernice is a master storyteller. Her prose is beautiful. As the layers of this story unfold, of murder, secrets, jealousy and pride, Bernice seamlessly weaves it all together to an amazing ending. I felt a whirlwind of emotions as I read Sugar; I laughed, I cried and I felt anger. I saw past those short skirts Sugar wore and found a little girl struggling to catch her breathe. And I walked through a small town scared to open its arms to someone who obviously wasn't 'one of them'... or was she? I kept turning those pages... Graphic in nature at times, but not gratuitous, you will appreciate Sugar's sincerity. You'll appreciate the rich, complex and strong female characters fully fleshed out and who don't shy away from sharing their feelings. Bernice has also captured the feel of small town life, with the soft whispers heard between small clutches of people. The story will grab your attention, and your heart, and will not let you go until the very last page.

Sugar is friendship... it's honesty wrapped up in the poetry of words... it's redemption and it's powerful...

Would you like to read an excerpt? Read the first chapter at the publisher's website! You can also learn more about Bernice and her writing at her website, bernicemcfadden.com. There you will also find discussion questions, because Sugar would make an excellent reading group pick! I want to thank Bernice for sending me a review copy! I just loved reading Sugar! And I want to thank Bernice for also letting me know that there is a sequel to Sugar! The story continues with This Bitter Earth! I'm so happy because I wasn't quite ready to give up visiting Bigelow, Arkansas and spending time with Sugar! A wonderful story & wonderful characters, what more can you ask for?!


*P.S.S. Hey, I'm sharing this review with Cym Lowell's Book Review Party!

85 comments:

Renee said...

please enter me in this giveaway.
Thanks
Reneesuz82(at)msn(d0t)com

Renee said...

I'm a google follower

Reneesuz82(at)msn(d0t)com

fredamans said...

I'd love to win this one.... looks fantastic!

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

I follow publicly.

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

fredamans said...

tweet; http://twitter.com/fredalicious/status/10578115368

freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

rhapsodyinbooks said...

No need to enter me - I reviewed this today also, and just wanted to add my second to your review that it is a lovely book!

Atypical Girl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! You write the best reviews!

Amy artsyrockerchick[at]aim[dot]com

Atypical Girl said...

I follow your blog! :)

Amy artsyrockerchick[at]aim[dot]com

Heidi V said...

This sounds like a good read!

Thanks
heidivargas [at] live dot com

Michelle (su[shu]) said...

This sounds like an awesome read. I'd love to be entered for the giveaway. Thanks.

+1, I already follow your blog. =)


Michelle
mich_yms[at]hotmail[dot]com

Lenore said...

Ooh! You've really made me want to read this one :)

lenoreva at hotmail dot com

lag123 said...

This story sounds like a pageturner. Please enter me and thank you for the giveaway.

lag110@mchsi.com

lag123 said...

vintage follower via google reader and GFC.

lag110@mchsi.com

Linda Kish said...

Count me in, please.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Count me in, please.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

follower


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Darlene said...

Hi Suzanne, I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. No need to enter me.

Marilu said...

I have this on my list of books to read in 2010! I would love to win a copy. Please enter me. Thanks

lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

Marilu said...

I follow through google friend connect!


lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

stpand said...

Please enter me.
I follow your blog.

http://services.nexodyne.com/email/icon/kZP6YCw8ToE%3D/DrfPGPc%3D/SG90bWFpbA%3D%3D/0/image.png

mindy said...

this sounds great thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

baileythebookworm said...

Looks like a great read! Please enter me to win a copy.
baileythebookworm at gmail dot com

AmandaSue said...

Thanks for entering me into this giveaway!

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Kelly said...

Oh, I would love to win! I love any book that's set before my lifetime, and the 1940's are my favorite!

krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

thelittlereader.net said...

i would love to be entered!

thelittlereader (at) gmail (dot) com

avisannschild said...

Please enter me too!

shereadsandreads(at)gmail(dot)com

Mary said...

This sounds like such a good read.

mamie316(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Mary said...

I'm a new follower, Mamie316.

mamie316(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Margie said...

Please include me...sounds like a good book.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

blog follower
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Jessica Menere said...

I have heard this is brillant and is on my to be read list.

jesslibrarian@yahoo.com.au

Bani said...

I'd like to enter for a chance to win. This book looks very good.

wakeupangel at gmail dot com

Bani said...

I'm a follower.

Bani said...

Tweeted here- http://twitter.com/baniclips/status/10608194880

buddyt said...

I am a Follower (buddyt).

I am intrigued by this book because of the Southern African connection you mention although that isn't explained. I am from South Africa.

So please enter me in the giveaway.

Thank you.

Carol T

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a great read, thank you!

jennifer(dot)arnold11(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

I'm a follower, too!

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway!

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

MJ said...

I'd love this.


mj.coward[at]gmail.com

MJ said...

I follow


mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Nickolay said...

This sounds like a super book. Thanks for the chance

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

Blog Follower

Nickolay

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/parkerozgood/status/10639801853

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Pam said...

Sounds like it could be a very intense read but I'd like to be included.

melacan at hotmail dot com

couponmom said...

Sugar sounds like she can invoke a myriad of emotions. This is something I would look forward to reading

formycontests@gmail.com

couponmom said...

I follow you on GFC as couponmom

formycontests@gmail.com

Mia J. said...

Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

mia at jacobsracing dot com

Amanda S. said...

Sounds like a good book!

amandasandico at yahoo dot com

LittleEagle said...

Thank you so much for your interview and for hosting this giveaway. sharonaquilino at hotmail dot com

Marci said...

Sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win.
june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

Nicola said...

Please enter me! I'm a follower!

nicolama at cogeco dot ca

couponmom said...

I tweeted this
http://twitter.com/courtreporterON/status/10712573858

formycontests@gmail.com

bison61 said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Wanda said...

This is just the kind of book I love to read! Please enter my name for a chance to win, thanks!

wanda_waiting[@]hotmail[.]com

Edna said...

please enter me


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

I follow


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

dsandyboy said...

Count me in.

dsandyboy@gmail.com

dsandyboy said...

I am a Google follower.

dsandyboy@gmail.com

FrankSandy said...

Please enter me. walkerd@primus.ca

FrankSandy said...

I am a follower. walkerd@primus.ca

suzie said...

sounds like an interesting book

suzie said...

now following on GFC
Suzquiz

suzie said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/suzquiz/status/10838407461

Marianna said...

Thanks for the chance!
mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

Marianna said...

I follow you on google friend connect
mannasweeps (at) gmail DOT com

Debbie F said...

Please include me!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I follow - google reader
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

SEARCHER GURL said...

i'm a follower ellamf at gmail dot com and tweet this @bellasearcher: bellasearcher wanna follow a good blog and might win too? go to http://chickwithbooks.blogspot.com/2010/03/sugar-by-bernice-l-mcfadden-review.html
less than 5 seconds ago via web

i also blog it here : http://searchergrl.blogspot.com/2010/03/follow-read-and-win.html

hope i'll win it since i wanted it too much hehe

Heather Y said...

Thank you for hosting a great giveaway! It looks like a great read... thanks!

heather y
click4cash4me(at)gmail(dot)com

Falon said...

Please enter my email address:

falongoesgreen[at]gmail[dot]com

Falon said...

I am a follower.

falongoesgreen[at]gmail[dot]com

Linda said...

Enjoyed your review - the book sounds great. And having spent part of my childhood in Arkansas, I'm especially anxious to read it.
Thanks for the giveaway.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

I follow your blog through Google Reader.

Wanda said...

Forgot to come back and tell you I posted!

wanda_waiting[@]hotmail[.]com

Wanda said...

Became a follower the other day too ... :)

wanda_waiting[@]hotmail[.]com

Heather M said...

I would love a chance to win this book

hmahan_0529 @ yahoo dot com

Michele said...

Sounds like an interesting read, please enter me.

mmmtnbike09@yahoo.com

Michele said...

I follow your blog

mmmtnbike09@yahoo.com

Laura said...

I'd love to win. Thanks for the giveaway!

lauragiveaways at gmail dot com

Laura said...

I'm a follower.

Laura said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/11088809714

Ladysilver said...

ladysilver915@yahoo.com

I am a follower

Lynette said...

I'd love to receive a copy of this book. I've read one of her previous releases and loved it.

My e-mail address is:
lynettestwocents (at) gmail (dot) com

I'm a new follower and I tweeted about the contest here.

http://twitter.com/LynetteCurtis/status/11092481843

Toshana said...

What a Fantastic idea! This is a must read. I'm so excited about adding an autograhed copy to my library. My email is tns4you@aol.com. Thanks

Chrystal said...

It would be soooo wonderful to win an autograph copy of this amazingly written novel. Its a gripping page turner and I'd love to have an autograph copy in my collection.


I'm a follower of this blog and,
my email address is: chrystalwrites@gmail.com

here's my twitter link:http://twitter.com/Chrystal54

my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Book & Blogs

Visit the Place Bloggers Talk...

New Feature! Follow Me!

giveaway over